The Word Detective

Front Cover
Plume, Oct 4, 2001 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 256 pages
7 Reviews
The man to ask is the Word Detective, aka Evan Morris, who is in and open for business. This collection of Morris's language columns, which appear in newspapers worldwide and on his award-winning Web site, cracks the case on hundreds of perplexing words and phrases. Fielding questions from his loyal readers with his distinctive brand of humor and unique approach to language, Morris hears from Sean via the Internet, who wants to know if nerd made its first appearance on Happy Days. (Morris, however, traces it back further-to Theodor Geisel, otherwise known as Dr. Seuss.) Ryan M. isn't quite sure if being caught red-handed is a reference to dye bombs put in bags of money that detonate when stolen. (The word Detective explains that it came into use during the 15th century, when the blood on the murderer's hands gave him away.) Laura V. is under the impression that a potboiler is a book that can be read while waiting for a pot to boil. (Morris relieves her of this misassumption by explaining that a potboiler is written by a writer in desperate need of something to boil in a pot.)

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

User ratings

5 stars
4 stars
3 stars
2 stars
1 star

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - KarenIrelandPhillips - LibraryThing

It's a bit snarky for me. Humorous compendium of faux questions/answers about the origin of words. Read full review

Review: The Word Detective: Solving the Mysteries Behind Those Pesky Words and Phrases

User Review  - Goodreads

Don't feel I can rate this 1 star because I barely got 1/4 into it. The author's voice was so annoying that I couldn't continue. His sarcasm and self-gratifying humor at the beginning of each entry ... Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

33 other sections not shown

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2001)

Evan Morris divides his time between a rambling old farmhouse in rural Ohio and an apartment in New York City. His syndicated column, "The Word Detective," is read all over the U.S. as well as in Mexico and Japan. The award-winning Word Detective web site receives over five thousand hits a week. Evan Morris is the author of The Book Lover's Guide to the Internet.

Bibliographic information